Game Changers

February 29, 2012

Dear Members and Friends,


Defensive coordination and using all your assets together to defeat an opponent is complex, challenging and critically important to being successful not just once, but consistently over time. A defensive coordinator must take into account each individual asset and its limitation of performance, as well as the communication between them so that they can work together to compensate for both their strengths and weaknesses in a battle. In addition, the coordinator must be able to devise and implement a game plan which is pervasive so as to best use their assets and to take advantage of the opponent’s weaknesses. The coordinator must also work the training, development and manning of his assets so he can rely on them and grow them to have consistency and to make them better at what they do. Lastly, a defensive coordinator must team together with an offensive coordinator and, to some extent, Special Forces to assure victory against both formidable and non-formidable forces that are adept at adaptation.


The United States has missile defense “Defensive Coordinators” in three regions of the world as well as one defending our homeland here in the United States. In military terms, those three regions are called PACOM for the Pacific region, CENTCOM for the Middle East region, and EUCOM for the European region. Their Defensive Coordinators are the Army Air and Missile Defense Commands (AAMDCs), which report to the Combatant Commander, a four-star General or Admiral, in that specific region.


In addition, the United States has a Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with offensive and defensive responsibilities that cross some or all of those Combatant Command regions; they, too, have a missile defense Defensive Coordinator. This Defensive Coordinator’s responsibilities are much more complex and challenging than those of the three regional Defensive Coordinators. The coordination of some of these assets are also shared by the regional “Defensive Coordinators” and are deployed in those regions, along with specific and unique missile defense assets in the North America region (NORCOM) that are protecting our homeland from long-range ballistic missiles. The STRATCOM Defensive Coordinator, however, is also in charge of putting forward the strategy on how to fight, man, integrate and modernize “global missile defense”. He works with the material provider of these strategic missile defense assets, which is the Missile Defense Agency.


Not only does this Global Defensive Coordinator perform the missions described above, he also commands the United States Army space component, the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC), for the Chief of Staff of the Army. The Global Defense Coordinator is called the Army Strategic Command (ASTRAT) Commander and the Commanding General for the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense (JFCC IMD). He is the highest ranking General in missile defense for the United States: Lieutenant General Richard Formica. LTG Richard Formica commands soldiers and civilians in 14 different countries to carry out all of these missions. His central Command is located at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.


This past Friday, MDAA had the distinct honor to recognize the soldiers and civilians under this global Command at Redstone Arsenal, as they are the ultimate missile defense Defensive Coordinator for our nation, our allies and our armed forces around the world. These men and women-both soldiers and civilians-that work for and under this Command are unheralded heroes that make a difference in making our world a safer place. On behalf of our membership and our nation, we give great gratitude for their selfless service to this important and relevant mission. They are true game changers.


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